Lecturer, Didactic Faculty
I was raised in a large family from Los Angeles thinking I would be a teacher after college. I joined the military to receive college money and “see the world”. Shortly after completion of combat medic training, I found myself on my first tour to Iraq. I was put into a downed aircraft rescue team and taught how to provide care on the battlefield for this advanced position. This job was an adventure that left me hungry for more medical education and so the seed was planted! I advanced from EMT-I to a flight-medic position and simultaneously obtained my bachelors in education. Fast forward to January 2003 and I was now a graduate of the military Interservice Physician Assistant Program or IPAP. A few months later, I found myself in Iraq again for my fourth combat deployment as a new lieutenant. This time though, I was leading combat medics in trauma care. By my sixth deployment, I would say I have “seen the world” while providing medic and PA skills to underserved populations. While educating patients and medics on the battlefield, I realized how fortunate I was to practice medicine as a physician assistant. In my last years of military service, I was approached by MEDEX and asked to be a clinical preceptor. I gladly accepted that honor and supported the MEDEX mission not knowing it would become a way of life for me. That seed planted earlier produced the fruit!
After 24 years of military service, I retired from the Army and decided to combine my two loves, being a PA and being an educator. I believe that all people deserve high-quality medical care regardless of whether it is are the lone combat soldier on a battlefield or a medically underserved population elsewhere. Medicine can do great things and change lives for the better, I hope to continue that dream as a member of MEDEX for years to come.